From politics I have come to believe the following:
(1) Most people are basically honest, kind and decent.
(2) The American people are wise enough to run their own affairs. The do not need Fuehrers, Strong Men, Technocrats, Commissars, Silver Shirts, Theocrats, or any other sort of dictator.
(3) Americans have a compatible community of ambitions. Most of them don't want to be rich but do want enough economic security to permit them to raise families in decent comfort without fear of the future. They want the least government necessary to this purpose and don't greatly mind what the other fellow does as long as it does not interfere with them living their own lives. As a people we are neither money mad nor prying. We are easy-going and anarchistic. We may want to keep up with the Joneses -- but not with the Vanderbilts. We don't like cops.
(4) Democracy is not an automatic condition resulting from laws and constitutions. It is a living, dynamic process which must be worked at by you yourself -- or it ceases to be democracy, even if the shell and form remains.
(5) One way or another, any government which remains in power is a representative government. If your city government is a crooked machine, then it is because you and your neighbors prefer it that way -- prefer it to the effort of running your own affairs. Hitler's government was a popular government; the vast majority of Germans preferred the rule of gangsters to the effort of thinking and doing for themselves. They abdicated their franchise.
(6) Democracy is the most efficient form of government ever invented by the human race. On the record, it has worked better in peace and in war than fascism, communism, or any other form of dictatorship. As for the mythical yardstick of 'benevolent' monarchy or dictatorship -- there ain't no such animal!
(7) A single citizen, with no political connections and no money, can be extremely effective in politics.
Take Back Your Government - A Practical Handbook for the private citizen who wants democracy to work.
By Robert A. Heinlein.
Copyright 19962 by Mrs. Virginia Heinlein.
The preface indicates that the book was completed in April, 1946.
The quote is from the Chapter 1 (pages 3 and 4 in the Baen Paperback edition published August, 19962.)
Submitted by Robert A. Henlein in Take Back Your Government on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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